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Housing rights of cohabiting sole homeowners

This content applies to England & Wales

Rights to occupy the home in the short or long term, to prevent sale and to pay mortgage after breakup with a sole owner.

Relationship breakdown law

A combination of family and housing law governs rights of cohabiting couples where one person is sole homeowner. 

Occupation rights

Occupation rights that might allow a non-owning partner to remain in the family home after the breakup. 

Occupation orders

Courts can make occupation orders to enforce rights to occupy the home on application by sole owners or their non-owning cohabitants. 

Preventing sale or disposal

Sole owners can usually dispose of their property as they wish, but a non-owing cohabitant may be able to prevent sale or disposal of the home. 

After a sale or disposal

Limited circumstances in which it may be possible for a non-owning cohabitant to take action after a sale or disposal by the sole owner. 

Long term occupation options

Agreements on what will happen to the home after the breakup and court’s powers to decide who stays in the home in the long term. 

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